When I was in the ‘impressionable years’ in my middle teens, there was a rock guitarist I knew through school who totally tore it up on an old beat-up gold top Les Paul. He was also good at karate and a vocal impressionist second to none, in my opinion. He was a funny, entertaining fellow.
This young man (a few years older than me), in turn, was impressed by Frank Zappa…
After hearing him and some of his cohorts go on and on about Frank Zappa for an hour or so and listening to some of Franks music while enjoying some illegal smoke (1976), the name Frank Zappa stuck in my head, although his music did not. Zappa was way beyond me back then and probably still is now, although I greatly appreciate in my later years now, what he accomplished. He was a genius workaholic musician-artist.
Every so often, really not very often, I get a spark of curiosity and look up Frank’s bio on Wikipedia. I read and read and read about his development over the years.
I went to YouTube and heard him at different points in his career doing his cool stuff. At one point, he was jamming or ‘duelling’ with a very young Steve Vai. That was interesting… Steve Vai was already a crazy-good, top drawer guitarist at the top of his then game. It was fun to watch… And listen to.
Then I began to wonder in my head, what happened to Frank.
Well, it was in his Wikipedia bio. I read about it and felt sorry for him and anyone who would have to go through such an ordeal, one that would eventually lead to his death.
I watched 2 videos of his last interviews. Very well done. Frank was in a lot of pain and probably under the influence of pain-reducing narcotics (he didn’t approve of illicit drugs or their use). It hurt me a little to watch.
When it was all said and done, I had an even greater opinion of Frank and all of his accomplishments. The fellow was was known nationally and internationally and was loved especially in Europe, where after one concert, he got a 20 minute standing ovation… Can you even imagine that? What would any of us have to do to motivate people to stand on their feet and applaud something we had done for 20 minutes? Pretty amazing.
I felt the need to write about Frank after reading and watching the YouTube videos.
It’s probably just an odd coincidence, but I drew a picture of Frank Zappa on an envelope that I used to turn my rent in… in. Let me see if I can add that envelope drawing below.